Next to Amped's Freestyle Snowboard simulation, EA Sport Big offers SSX Tricky. It certainly is not anything new, as it appears to be a sequel of a popular game released last November for Playstation on PS2. The game involves staggering races through gigantic tracks where anything or almost anything is allowed between competitors. This game being a reference on PS2, it is therefore logical that the title be made for Xbox as well.
The idea behind SSX Tricky is simple. You start by choosing a rider among those offered. At the beginning of the game, only four are available. But as you keep playing, you will have twelve in total. Each one has, of course, its own characteristics and evolves according to its ranking in the world circuit. Once you have a character, you are ready to jump in the race.
There are two types of tracks: stunts or downhill. In the first case, you try all kinds of impossible jumps, rotations, ramps, etc. You will need a Freestyle board, which is different than the downhill board for downhill racing. Downhill racing takes you on wild races where you also have to show your acrobatic skills in order to obtain bonuses that look like adrenaline levels displayed on the right of the screen.
Even though you can play one track, the most interesting playing is on career mode. You must race and win each course three times before you can move unto the next track which is a standard system for this type of game. As added bonus, and depending on how many points you scored and which place you won, you can change boards and clothes and improve your skills.
Graphics are impressive and have improved since the last PS2 version, thanks to the bump mapping on snowy landscapes and self-shadowing effects on characters being added. Unfortunately, this drops the FPS rate at times on certain very detailed tracks and it ruins the fast pace gameplay. As far as sound, SSX Tricky hardly uses the Xbox potential with a limited number of effects.
SSX Tricky offers an amazing gameplay. Every circuit seems gigantic and is crammed with hidden or alternative passages. As far as riders, the number of available characters is impressing, even though less than in the PS2 version of the game. Indeed, developers at EA Big have had to adapt the game to the buttons of the controller on the Xbox. Let us add too that it is possible to shove your competitors during downhill racing. But watch out, they will probably try to take revenge during the next event...